Hong Kong is a lively and energetic city that is proud to show off its distinctive Chinese and colonial heritage. Get ready to discover a fascinating metropolis which once was not more than a congregation of small fishing villages.
To say that Hong Kong is where East meets West is an understatement.
In Hong Kong, East meets West in a grand style collision. This is where state-of-the-art skyscrapers overlook old-style Chinese tradition... the temples, the old alleys, the markets...
Where you just as easily dine at Dai Pai Dong street stalls or at award winning international restaurants with stunning harbor views or try anything and everything in between...
Hong Kong is a fun place for the entire family, there is much to keep everyone busy... ferry rides, big buddhas, colorful markets, thrilling rides, giant pandas, colorful temples, fun foods, and yes, even Mickey Mouse!
So where to start? Here are our top 10 Hong Kong attractions you can not miss... For further info on each individual place/activity, follow the links,
they will take you to our sister website
1. Victoria Harbour and the Star Ferry
The sight of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline is something very unique and special that never fails to convey the essence of the city: exciting, glamorous, sparkling, stylish... It just blows you away the first time you see it, and every time after that... Victoria Harbour is something very unique day or night, here are some of the unique ways to experience it...
- A ride on the Star Ferry, one of Hong Kong's beloved icons that's been around forever, is one of the "must do's" when traveling to Hong Kong. The ride accross the harbour is not only fun, fast and cheap, but gives you awesome views of the city skyline.
There are a couple of different routes, the ride from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central is quite striking as you approach the towering skyscrapers, specially at night, when the city lights come to life.
At less than US$0.40 per ride, this is one of Hong Kong's top bargains! More on the Star Ferry
- A Victoria Harbour Cruise: What better way to see Victoria Harbor than being in the middle of it? There are many companies offering different kinds of cruises, there are day harbour cruises, evening cocktail cruises, harbour cruises aboard a traditional junk,
Symphony of Lights cruises, dinner and cruise packages...
Victoria Harbour Cruises are quite easy and convenient to take regardless on which side of the Harbour you are as they leave from both the Kowloon and Hong Kong Island sides. More on Victoria Harbour Cruises
- Victoria Harbour serves as the backstage of one of Hong Kong's most popular attractions, the Symphony of Lights. Every night at 8:00 pm the Hong Kong skyline lits up and comes alive in a spectacular array of lights, lasers and coreographed music, all celebrating the spirit of Hong Kong. A Symphony of Lights is a free program and runs for 15-20 minutes. A Harbour Cruise will offer the best views as you will be right in the middle of it all.
If on land, our favorite spot to enjoy the lights is anywhere along the Tsim Sha Tsui side from the Star Ferry Terminal and all along the Promenade. More on the Symphony of Lights
- More ways to enjoy and experience the beauty of Victoria Harbour, from helicopter rides, restaurants and roof-top bars with spectacular views, best observation decks and walks, etc. on our site hong-kong-traveller.com/victoria-harbour.html
- With Kids?: A ride on a traditional junk is always a hit with kids. A Sampan ride is a fun, one-of-a-kind experience but one that involves a little more advance planning as there are only a couple of vessels in operation and a limited number of excursions.
Enjoy Victoria Harbour...
2. Victoria Peak and the Peak Tram
"The Peak" and the "Peak Tram" are also some of Hong Kong's classics.
Hong Kong Island's highest point is at Victoria Peak which overlooks the harbour and is home to some of the top real estate in the planet. The views from here are legendary...
The fun way to get to the Peak is of course with the Peak Tram, which is pulled by a single steel cable up the steep slope and ends the ride at the Peak Tower.
The Peak Tower, in contrast
to the century-old Peak Tram, is a new seven-story structure, complete with viewing platforms, restaurants and shops.
The open-air viewing terrace with the coin-operated binoculars is on the top level.
Up and About Victoria Peak: A nice leisurely walk around the peak can be done in an hour on Harlech and Luggard Roads which loop around it and give you amazing views of the harbour, the peninsula and as far as the outlying islands.
With Kids?: Check out Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum on level 4 of Peak Tower or the first MONOPOLY-themed attraction on level 3, Monopoly Dreams, or the Chocolate Museum, where kids get to experience making their own chocolates at the workshop!
More on Victoria Peak, the Peak Tram, Peak Tower, viewing terraces...
Deals on tickets, food at the Peak
3. The Tian Tan Giant Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island is made of bronze and at 34 meters or 112 feet, one of the largest seated buddha statues in the world.
Getting there is half the fun. From Lantau Island's Tung Chung MTR station, the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
will whisk you in 25 minutes up to the plateau where Big Buddha sits. The cable car ride gives you great views of the islands, the airport and as far as the South China Sea.
Once in Ngong Ping, you will get glimpses of buddhist monks going on their daily routines, the Po Lin Monastery is just off the cable car station. Then it's a hike to get to the foot of Tian Tan, all 260 steps lead up to the podium and the sweeping views from here are worth the climb.
If everyone is up to it, the 4 mile path down to Tung Chung is a nice walk and you pass some small monasteries on the way.
With Kids?: Take the Ngong Ping Cable Car and soar over some of Lantau's most beautiful scenery... on a glass-bottomed cabin if you dare!
There are many ways to get to the Lower Terminal to take the Ngong Ping Cable Car that will bring you to the Big Buddha. An easy way is with public transport and the MTR, follow the instructions here.
If you prefer to leave the planning and arrangements to the experts, this Tour of Lantau Island including the Big Buddha, picks you up at your hotel or a nearby one,
and bring you to all the highlights.
Buy tickets for the Ngong Ping Cable Car ahead of time and skip the long lines. You can get
Discount tickets for both the standard and crystal cabins through GetYourGuide.com Discounts vary depending on the day of the week and can be up to 25% off.
Up and About the Big Buddha: A visit to the Big Buddha can be easily combined with a visit to the Tai O Fishing Village also in Lantau Island, see below.
4. Temple Street Night Market
The Temple Street Night Market is Hong Kong's busiest and liveliest night market, it is noisy and crowded
with rows of stalls with all sorts of cheap trinkets, fortune tellers, souvenirs, and open air food stalls. As with all markets in Hong Kong, this is the place to bargain and haggle.
The Temple Street Night Market is also known for its fortune tellers, fengshui experts, herbalists and every now and then you will catch an impromptu cantonese opera performance, this all adds to the lively and bustling atmosphere of the market.
Up and About the Temple Street Night Market: Nearby is the temple that gives the street its name, the Yau Ma Tei Tin Hau Temple. It is a very frequented and popular temple.
Enjoy a personalized experience with this Private Night Markets & Street Food Experience Walking Tour, revel in the beautiful night views and savor from 6 to 8 food tastings.
With Kids?: Markets are fun places for kids. Besides the Temple Street Night Market, there is a wide variety of wet markets in Hong Kong, street markets, flower markets, jade markets, bird markets, fish markets, you name it! and they are all packed, loud, lively, and chaotic. Here's more on
Hong Kong Markets.
5. Ocean Park Hong Kong
Ocean Park, Hong Kong's very first amusement park, is a cross between Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Six Flags all rolled into one. It's a huge park in a very unique location among mountain peaks overlooking the sea and neighboring islands.
- the Grand Aquarium, a phenomenal 4 story fish bowl complete with manta rays, sharks, giant groupers, eels, hammerheads, stingrays... and you're in the middle of it, truly, one of the best aquariums we've ever seen
- the Giant Pandas, if you've never seen live pandas, this is the place
- the cable car to the "Summit", superb views of the bay, outlying islands and the South China Sea, don't forget your camera!
- the Summit's collection of rollercoasters and water rides
- the Polar Adventure, visit the North and South Poles, great pinguin exhibits!
- Old Hong Kong, ride the rickshaws for a great trip back in time.
- a new Water Park has recently opened! Plenty of slides and water fun specially for those hot summer days!
With Kids?: Ocean Park is a paradise for kids big and small. Teenagers will head to the "Summit" where the rollercoasters are.
Here's more on Ocean Park, getting there, getting around, etc.
Buy Ocean Park discount tickets via Klook, advance online reservation for Park entry is required due to Covid measures.
6. Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is a smaller version of its American counterparts, but as all things Disney, still wonderful, magical and enchanting...
If you are a Disney fanatic, a day at Hong Kong Disneyland is a must. And if you are familiar with the other parks, you will find
a similar layout in the structure and also in the way things operate.
Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland and Toy Story Land all branch out from Main Street as do the newer theme areas of Grizzly Gulch and
Mystic Manor, unique to Hong Kong Disney.
You will notice subtle Asian overtones here and there. In Small World, for example, Cantonese, Tagalog, Putonghua and Korean have been added to the theme song, and the menu at restaurants is distinctively more Asian than in the Western counterparts.
During the Chinese New Year holidays, Mickey, Minnie and the whole cast of characters sport their own full bright red Chinese Traditional costumes and the entire park goes all out with the dragon dances, lantern decorations, sparkling lights and of course the fireworks. A fun time to visit Disneyland Hong Kong!
Don't miss these excellent Hong Kong Disney Offers
Here's more on Hong Kong Disneyland, how to get there and making the most of your day!
7. Tai O Fishing Village
The Tai O Fishing Village in the Western coast of Lantau Island is a quaint and picturesque village, with the traditional
stilt houses predominant of the old Southern Chinese fishing villages, one of the few remaining places where you can still see them in Hong Kong.
With its pretty setting on the coast framed by the mountains, and all the activity surrounding the harbour, the traditional seafood market,
and the daily life in the stilt houses, it is a photographers dream and definitely worth the trip from Hong Kong.
If you are already visiting the Big Buddha (see above),
then it is a short bus or taxi ride, about 15 minutes. You can easily spend a couple of hours in the Tai O Fishing Village,
just walking around
the market and taking one of the small boats that take you around the harbour and the stilt houses for a close up view.
With Kids?: The boat rides are short and fun, the 20-minute ride will take you around the stilt houses and then out on the open waters where you might have a chance to spot the rare pink dolphins which are known to inhabit the area.
Here's more on Tai O Fishing Village, how to get there and making the most of your day!
8. Food... Glorious Food...
If my dad had his way, we would spend the entire time eating in Hong Kong! Seems like everything revolves around food.
A common greeting among the Chinese is not "How are you?" but "Have you eaten yet?"
And with reason, your travel to Hong Kong won't be complete until you sample what this region is known for.
So what should you try? Hong Kong's pride and joy is
of course Cantonese food, but there is a cornucopia of flavors and experiences, from Dim Sum brunches, seafood villages, Dai Pai Dongs, floating restaurants... from Michelin stars to street food stalls... Here are some of our favourite Hong Kong foods and food experiences you shouldn't miss:
- Dim Sum: These are delightful dumplings and little bites served in steaming bamboo baskets in a fun hectic atmosphere. Here's a handy Dim Sum Guide, pictures and all, and how to order.
- Hong Kong Barbeque: Char Siu and Roast Duck Hong Kong's traditional roasts are a must, very popular with Chinese and available everywhere,
at top restaurants and street stalls alike. You will see the entire ducks and roasted meats hanging by the windows
or stands to lure you in. Can't miss them.
- The Dai Pai Dongs: These are the bustling street food stalls that are found throughout all of Hong Kong's neighborhoods. Here you find seafood, roasted meats, dim sum, stir fries, noodles, snacks, all types of food "on a stick", sweets and desserts... More on eating on the streets and the Dai Pai Dongs
- Seafood: You find fresh seafood restaurants everywhere in Hong Kong just in quaint stalls as well as lavish restaurants. The ones
around the coastal areas and the islands offer quite a fun and unique experience specially when combined with a boat ride or a harbour cruise. Guide to Hong Kong Seafood, what to eat and how to order
- Our Michelin-Starred Restaurants: Hong Kong's star list
is not all about pricey fancy eateries but also includes some reasonable and economical places including popular food stalls. Hong Kong is home to the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, Tim Ho Wan, a dim sum place where dishes start at a mere HK10, about US$1.30, a bargain for
any standard, Michelin-rated or not. If you are serious about your dining, then get a copy of the MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong and Macau
With Kids?: Children will enjoy the dim sum brunches where they can pick the dishes from the trolleys as the chaotic servers scurry among the tables, or a foray into the Dai Pai Dongs where they will be amused just trying to guess what some of that "weird stuff" might be, or the seafood restaurants with the tanks full of fresh catch, or just simply the local noodle and dumpling joint.
9. The Happy Valley Horse Races
Horse racing has been part of the Hong Kong culture for generations and Happy Valley is legendary. Fans come together to enjoy the beautiful beasts, the skillful jockeys ,the crowds going wild... they all add up to an exciting, fun-filled, thrilling atmosphere in a world-class venue surrounded by the legendary Hong Kong skyline.
Horse racing in Hong Kong is serious stuff and a major part of the Hong Kong economy. The sport was introduced by the British
when they first came to Hong Kong in 1841 and has become
since then, a sport for the masses and a favourite pastime, which given Chinese love of gambling is not surprising.
The Happy Valley race course is a sight in itself, the city has built around it through the years and it is now practically surrounded by skyscrapers, an awesome experience specially at night when the city is illuminated. Happy Valley regular season races are normally on Wednesday Nights.
Horse-Racing Season at Happy Valley is from September to June (sometimes early July).
There are many ways to experience the races, from General Stand Admission, Viewing Terraces, Bars and Restaurants to Private Boxes and
special packages including dinner and drinks, pub crawls, etc. General Stand entrance starts at HK10.
At this time, due to the ongoing Covid-19 measures, THE RACES ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC with special arrangements that have been made for race meetings at both Happy Valley and Sha Tin. RESERVATIONS must be made in advance by booking at any one of the course venues and following the prescribed measures including scanning of the "LeaveHomeSafe" QR Code. The measures might vary depending on restrictions and curfews in effect at a particular race day. Here are the latest arrangements.
Here's more on Happy Valley Horse Racing, how to get there and options for viewing the races.
10. The Hop On Hop Off Bus
One of Hong Kong's top things to do, hop-on-hop-off buses are a great way to get oriented, specially for
first time travellers. The three loops cover all the must sights in the city with some perks added on like a ride on the Peak Tram, the Star Ferry and a traditional sampan.
It is a fun an enjoyable way to discover all the different highlights as you traverse among the skyscrapers and the busy harbour,
through bustling street markets and colorful temples, and along the beautiful coastline to faraway fishing villages...
For first time travellers it is a great way to get your bearings, and for kids, a real treat riding on the open-air double
deckers and hoping-on-and-off the over 20 points of interest.
There is also an optional Night Tour add on, this is a one-hour panoramic tour, this part is NOT hop-on-hop-off. Specially during holidays when all the streets and buildings are beautifully illuminated at night, the Night Tour on the open-top bus is a real treat.
For more info, routes, tips on making the most of your Hop-On-Hop-Off day including stops not worth hopping off for, check our recommendations here.
You can buy your Hop-On-Hop-Off tickets here.
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